Aside from the overwhelming amount of grief that my family can barely cope with, we're also struggling financially. It's gotten to the point where my father has suggested my taking a year off from university. At this point, I have no choice but to understand where he's coming from because it truly isn’t something we can even dream to afford.
With my mother’s passing, as well as the loss of her income, there’s no way we can bear the expense of on campus housing on my father alone. Because I go to school in Chicago, and that’s 2 hours away from where I live, it isn’t even possible for me to commute from home.
As it stands, if I would like to stay in school in the pursuit of my bachelor’s degree, my only real option is to opt for off-campus housing, and subsequently rent an apartment.
This still isn’t completely feasible without my mother here. I've talked to my financial aid office a couple times, and will continue to do so, but at this time, I'm not receieving enough to be able to allow me to stay for the entirety of my Sophomore year at Loyola U Chicago. I pray this will change.
With the price that we would have to pay out of pocket for rent and tuition looming over my head, I’ve reasoned that because my father still has my two younger sisters and himself to care for, this is something I need to work for on my own. As of right now, I’m picking up a second job, but it’s still nowhere near enough.
Due to the loss of my mother's contribtion, I have also lost my plus loan of $20,000+. All my financial aid office offered to give me was a one-time hardship fund of $1,500, which only managed to slightly bring down my out of pocket cost. Because they refuse to help me any further, I'm completely on my own.
The only person that can help my father pay for my education now is myself, and I harbor a minumum wage job, of which I can only work 12 hours a week because of my 16 credit hour enrollment.
Every month, most of my check goes to my monthly tuition payments of $200+. The rest goes towards my monthly rent, with the outstanding balance coming from my father. He's working overtime to pay for my two younger sisters' schooling, $5000 braces for one of them, tutoring for both, and helping me pay for a place for me to live. I understand that this is not sustainable.
Due to the cost of school and my apartment, I have no savings, and nothing to pay for the rest of my tuition payments, and my other living expenses.
I’m coming to you guys to simply ask for any help you can offer. Loyola has been this beautiful home away from home for me for the past year, and it’s an environment that I feel truly enriches my pursuit of happiness, education, and success. I’ve met so many amazing people (like my best friend Joce), manifested important connections, taken classes with professors that I’ll never forget and always appreciate, and have joined organizations that I honestly feel I can make a significant difference in (shout out to the Black Cultural Center ❤️).
I love my mother more than anyone else in the world, and I know for a fact she would never want me to give up on my education nor my dreams of becoming a Medical Lawyer. Because of this, I also know exactly where she would want me to be. Loyola means the world to me and it’d be a true miracle to still be able to stay.
Anything you can give would not only be immensely appreciated, but particularly life-changing. God willing.
Rest easy Momma, you'll always be a blessing.
- Ashawna Linyard
- Munir Ibrahim
- Casey Izumi
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